We are here to answer the question, what is a self-hosted blog? So let’s do it.
What is your own host blog?
A self-hosted blog is a blog that either resides on your own personal server (not common) or on the server of a third-party hosting company like Bluehost or Dreamhost (most common today), where these servers run your blog and keep it live on the Internet.
Most important for the discussion of whether to host your blog yourself or not (using a hosting company like Bluehost or Dreamhost), are the benefits you get from going with self-hosting-compared to the alternative of choosing one of the many more tightly controlled blog platforms like Medium, Weebly, Wix or otherwise.
For several years here I have taught over 500,000 monthly readers how to start their blogs and my recommendation has always been to start with a self-hosted blog, powered by the free WordPress content management system (CMS) and a reliable hosting company that keeps your blog online.
What is a self-hosted blog? Should I choose a free or self-hosted blogging platform?
What is your own host blog? Should I choose a free or self-hosted blogging platform?
Note: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no extra cost to you I earn a commission. When you purchase hosting using one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep my content free for you. Know that I also only recommend products that I personally stand behind.
Okay, now let’s dig a little further into this discussion to help you decide if a self-hosted blog or a free blogging platform best suits your blogging goals.
Should I choose a free or self-hosted blogging platform?
Before making this (big) decision, it is important to take stock of what your blog goals are.
Are you going to blog with the goal of making money or ultimately building a business? On the other hand, will your blog be solely a hobby or journaling with no financial purpose? Maybe your blog goals are completely different …
If you want to eventually make money on your blog or leave this option open for the future, it is the only real option to go with a self-hosted WordPress blog if you want to get your blog off the ground the right way and avoid a lot of expensive transition work (to get your blog eventually hosted as its own) in the future.
This is because the free blogging platforms in the world either prohibit or severely restrict your ability to monetize your blog content.
You can only monetize your blog effectively if it is self-hosted
That’s why I always recommend new bloggers to go with a self-hosted blog when they get started.
Even if you are not launching your blog with the primary goal of making money today, it is the smartest solution in the future to leave the door open for this opportunity in the future (if you have the budget to spend around $ 5 / mo for your blog hosting plan or a little more if you go with a real monthly hosting plan).
Now, if you instead blog as a creative exercise, journaling activity or simple hobby that has no financial purpose – choosing a platform like Medium, Weebly or Wix can actually be a good move because it will be completely free for you.
Regardless of your ultimate goal, however, there is nothing wrong with starting on a free platform if you need to keep your expenses down or zero, especially if you are mainly focused on practicing your writing craft and becoming more confident in what it is like to run a blog.
Just keep in mind, though, that at some point, you will eventually have to switch to self-hosting your blog if you want to transfer it to an income-generating project.
How much does it cost to self-host your blog?
Fortunately, launching your own blog has become increasingly affordable in recent years. It can be achieved even on the tightest budgets.
Hosting your blog with a highly reliable (and affordable) hosting plan through Bluehost (my recommendation # 1) will cost you around $ 3.00 / month to $ 5.00 / month billed annually.
You can expect to spend between $ 34.50 / year and $ 65.40 / year to keep your self-hosted blog running.
The exact amount your hosting plan will cost depends on the package options and add-ons you choose, based on your needs.
For a much more in-depth breakdown of all the blog-related expenses you can expect to incur (as your blog grows over the coming months and you want to upgrade your tools), check out my guide on how much it costs to run a blog today.
Plus, they offer the option to go with (cheaper) shared hosting or opt for a more robust managed WordPress hosting plan that handles several of the technical aspects of running your blog.
How do you get started on a self-help blog?
The process of getting your self-hosted blog off the ground is actually very straightforward and simple:
Choose a name Choose your hosting plan Design your blog (with a free WordPress theme) Write your first post Promote your content
If you are ready to get your self-hosted blog off the ground, go to my step-by-step guide and follow along to get started today.
Ready to start your blog today?
See My Ultimate Guide How To Start A Blog (On The Page).